Revision- Geography- Topic 3: Battle for the Biosphere

There are several different Biomes, in the Earth’s Biosphere, a Biome is a plant and animal community covering a large part of the earth. The different Biomes are shown in the pictures below:
Polar

Temperate

Tropical

Arid

Mediterranean

Mountain

Factors which affect Biomes
Soil Type- If soil is deep it will have a lot of nutrients and can therefore support many plants, whereas shallow soil has fewer nutrients and not as many plants will be able to grow.
Distance from coast- Near the coast will have higher precipitation levels, whereas the further inland you go there is less precipitation (precipitation is any water that falls from the sky, it can be snow or rain.)
Altitude- The higher up you go the colder it is, whereas the lower you go the more warmer it is.
Temperature- Extreme hot and cold cannot support life easily, a balance is needed.
Precipitation levels- Constant steady rainfall will support plants and animals, but extreme rainfall patterns could mean it is too wet or too dry.
Sunlight hours- Sunlight is needed for plants to grow so long sunlight hours is best.
The Biosphere provides us with goods, things that we can hold and are of value, and services, things which we can’t always see but we know are happening to increase quality of life. A good can be wood that has been grown, and a service can be oxygen created by photosynthesis in a plant. Although people takes these and take these without returning anything, and exploit and degrade Biomes and the Biosphere. Biomes can be degraded directly from human actions, such as: deforestation, this is is the chopping down of trees to clear a large area, this could be for the wood or so that the land can be developed, but either way it is still unsustainable and mining for rare materials or minerals which will destroy the land and disrupt the habitats in the area. In addition there are also indirect forms of degradation to the Biomes such as: driving your car to work, this means more CO2 going into the atmosphere causing an human enhanced greenhouse effect, which will create higher temperatures and dryer climates in some areas which have not experienced this before and as the water supplies get smaller more animals will die from thirst.
Although there are sustainable organisations which sustainably use our Biomes to ensure there is no lasting harm to the people or to the environment, they will do things like Eco-tourism, Slash and burn and encourage areas to keep and use trees as a natural flood defence. These organisations may even set up National Parks and CITES to protect the Biosphere and Biodiversity in the Biomes. For those of you who don’t know what a CITES is, it is a Convention International Trade Endangered Species, they simply control what species can be traded and what species can’t be traded or hunted.

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